By David Bonds, nuclear representative
With the delta variant of COVID-19 cases rising, minimizing exposure to the virus is top of mind for utility companies and our employers. Report dates for our fall outage season are still one to two months away, and we are already seeing some adjustments and new requirements being put into place. While protective procedures have not changed much, vaccines have now come into consideration. We must all bear in mind that our partnering contractors’ and customers’ intentions are to help protect everyone and prevent the spread of the virus. We are the SSMRC millwrights, and we are, as always, going to get the job done! Our partnering contractors and customers depend on us to be the professionals we are.
Here are the fall outage requirements we have been notified of so far:
- At the South Texas Project (STP), all craft workers, regardless of vaccination status, will be tested for COVID when they report to the site.
- COVID protocol for outages at Turkey Point, St. Lucie, and Point Beach
- COVID-related requirements for all personnel at TVA facilities
This fall there are 10 outages. Vogtle, ANO, Browns Ferry (small crew to do rotor preparation for the spring 2021 outage), Oconee (small crew for utility maintenance support), St. Lucie, Turkey Point, Sequoyah, Comanche Peak, South Texas Project (STP), and Watts Bar. Given the number of outages, one would think individual millwrights would have the ability to work at least two outages. However, five of the outages start within one week in October, and the other outages overlap into that week. This makes the transfer of millwrights almost impossible. The only outages where the crew will be transferred are St. Lucie and Turkey Point. As frustrating as this is to me, I know it is more frustrating for the members.
As we go into the fall season, let’s remember we need to have patience and be respectful of our contractors, utilities, and each other. We are all in this together, and team effort and thinking are what we need during these unprecedented times. Let’s be safe and productive and get the job done as we always have in the past!